The squirrels, always bigger, always less afraid, cavorted on the grass. A particularly fat one squatted on the fence, looking at him intently. He had his only laugh of the day: these urban squirrels are taking over! Several hopped towards him. Looking at him expectantly. Sorry squirrels. I can’t even feed myself!
He extended his arm. The fat squirrel flinched and turned, as if to flee. He held himself very still. The squirrel relaxed, somewhat, and eyed his hand. Then, a trembling, tentative step, and then the squirrel climbed onto his wrist. He’d done it!
The squirrels chattered amongst themselves. The fat squirrel climbed onto his shoulder and chattered most loudly. Another squirrel, with a ragged tail, walked up and, after several false starts, climbed up on his shoe.
Soon, two or three squirrels were climbing him like a tree, while others formed a loose circle, watching. He laughed, tickled by their nimble feet. How long had they been this close to domestication? He began to think of the future. He was the first to discover this great barrier of fear being dropped. Maybe he could sell pet squirrels. Maybe he would get product endorsement deals, as the squirrel man. Maybe he was the only one whom the squirrels would befriend? Only time would tell.
Still laughing, he gently squatted, and then slowly sat, giving the squirrels ample time to get topside of him. Then he lay down in the grass. Then several of the watchers bounced forward and jumped onto his body.
And then they fed.